I have been hunting for coffee recently. Not in a sit-down-cafe kind of way, more in a coffee-machine-and-not-much-else-walk-by kind of way. Essentially I was looking for a roving coffee cart but in four permanent walls. Thankfully this is London, home of everything ever conceived so I was able to find New Row coffee and Tonic without delay.
New Row coffee is pretty much perfect for anyone wanting to escape the Covent Garden crowds. It is just an itty bitty we thing of a cafe, but obviously very popular with the locals. While I was there the barrister seemed to know every person who came through the door, and then proceeded to chat about the changes in the roast and milk temperatures. He was so friendly that when I went up I somehow found myself ordering two coffees instead of one, never underestimate the powers of a smiling coffee man. There are only two tables in New Row, so you are better off taking away. But the coffee is stellar so it is worth a small diversion from the Covent Garden buzz.
From one tourist trap to another, just of Piccadilly Circus is a small green tiled haven called Tonic. You know a coffee shop is going to be good when the coffee machines outnumber the available chairs. I completely wish that Tonic was on my regular commute, the coffee reminds me of Nude or Notes and I could drink it all day long. When you consider the truly atrocious coffee choices around Piccadilly Circus (it is the only place in London where Pret outnumbers people 2:1) Tonic is a haven that is well worth seeking out.